5 Simple and Satisfying Shop Storage Solutions

Woodworking Workshop

There is something deeply satisfying about a simple and elegant (and cheap!) solution to an annoying storage problem. There is also something especially gratifying about utilizing normally wasted space, as a number of these racks and holders do. “Working the cube,” a mentor of mine in my youth used to call it; always considering how to optimize every square inch of a workspace, not just the walls and the floors. Here are five great ways to work your cube with some clever shop storage.

Tubular Storage


“Here’s my solution for storing skinny things like wood trim and edge banding. I bought a 12″ dia. by 8′ long cardboard concrete form at a home center for about $14. I slid plywood dividers into the tube and added a few screws to hold the dividers in place. I hung it from the ceiling in my basement with plumber’s strap. Get plumber’s strap at a home center for about $2 for a 10-ft. roll. It took one roll to hang my storage tube.” [From: Popular Woodworking]

Lattice Rack

storageTech_1“Plastic lattice works well in the garage for storing long lengths of miscellaneous pipe, trim, flashing, and conduit. Just cut matching pieces, then screw 2×4 cleats to the ceiling and screw the lattice to the wall studs and cleats. Now you can quickly find those oddball leftovers instead of going to the hardware store and buying yet another piece.” [From: Family Handyman]

Hook-and-Slat-Mounted Drawers and Cabinets

storageTech_4“I’ve struggled with the clutter in my small garage shop for years. Recently my neighbor remodeled his garage using a commercial wall-slat system. That gave me an idea for designing my own system. I used 1/4″ and 3/4″ plywood to create a hook-and-slat system that organizes all my tools, hardware, shop supplies and hand tools. It’s a flexible system that allows me to make changes easily as my shop evolves. I use the same hook-and-slat system to hang things on a roll-around cart or my bench. I even devised handles that double as hooks so I can hang individual drawers on my bench to put fasteners and hardware right where I’m working. Along the way, I added some pull-out vertical dividers with slats mounted on them.” [American Woodworker]

Ceiling Drawers

storageTech_2“Eke out every cubic inch of storage in a basement shop with pivoting boxes that hang between the ceiling joists. When a drawer is down, you have easy access to its contents. Use glue and 1-5/8 in. drywall screws to hold together the boxes, then customize shelving for whatever you want to store. Make the width about 3/8 in. narrower than the cavity it fits in and use double-nutted 3/8 in. x 3-1/2 in. carriage bolts for the two pivot points.

“Two plywood cleats pivot on 3-in. screws to hold each drawer in place in the “tucked” position. The drawers are perfect for anything you only need occasionally. But be careful to keep contents relatively light so you can safely open and close the drawers. It’s definitely not the place to store your anvils.” [From: Family Handyman]

Quick and Easy Clamp Rack

storageTech_5“This simple clamp rack provides easy-access storage for a number of different clamp styles. It only takes about an hour or two to build, and uses common materials, making it a great project for those looking to organize their shop. Check out the photos to see how to hang C-clamps, bar clamps, and Quick-Grips.” [Editor’s Note: You can also use standard bathroom towel rods (about $3 at a home store) for a really quick and easy clamp rack, at least for small/light clamps.] [From: Make:]

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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